Yakima County has seen a recent increase in hospitalizations in the past week. From July 8-14, 2021, Yakima County had 15 new hospitalizations, which is the highest increase in a seven-day period compared to weeks in May and June.
Over the last three months, an average of 96% of individuals that have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 have been unvaccinated. Today, there are a total of 24 people that are hospitalized. COVID-19 cases are also increasing, but not as sharply as the increase in hospitalizations. This may be due to less individuals seeking COVID-19 tests.
“We encourage everyone who can get vaccinated to do so to protect others who can’t get vaccinated yet, such as children under 12 years of age and people who are immunocompromised. Let us all continue to do our part to protect those around us. We don’t want to overwhelm the hospital or healthcare system in the county again,” said Dr. Larry Jecha, Interim Health Officer at the Yakima Health District.
In the past, the Yakima Health District has noticed an increase in cases after a large event, followed by hospitalizations. This increase aligns with the June 30, 2021 opening of the state and loosening of masking guidance. It is important individuals who can get vaccinated do so. The vaccine is safe and effective, and the more individuals that get vaccinated, the less COVID-19 will spread in the community. In Yakima County there continues to be various vaccination opportunities. Individuals are encouraged to visit YakimaVaccines.org for a location near them. If individuals choose not to get vaccinated, continue to wear a mask and social distance.
“We know that only 49.5% of community members 12 and older are fully vaccinated. However, when you go in public, you are not seeing 50% of individuals wearing masks. Masks are an effective measure against the spread of COVID-19, if you are not fully vaccinated, you should be wearing a mask to avoid further increases in cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19,” said Melissa Sixberry, RN and Director of Disease Control at the Yakima Health District.